It’s Waffle Wednesday

Hey fellow foodies.  I’ve been thinking a lot about waffles. And I just looked it up. National Waffle Day isn’t until August 24th. I can’t wait that long to celebrate. I like waffles and today’s Wednesday. I am declaring this Waffle Wednesday.

A few weeks ago, I was experimenting in the kitchen and I came up with this fantastic idea of combining my love of potatoes with my waffle maker. If you’ve been following me, you may have seen my earlier post about waffle potato fries.  While those are totally delish and super easy to make, I wanted to combine a few types of potatoes and make something even more delicious.

To backtrack a little, I often spend some time each Sunday batch cooking for the week ahead. It’s really easy to carve out a couple of hours and prepare things like rice, potatoes and some broccoli and even some beans all at once. When you do this, you are never at a loss of “what’s to eat”. No one likes to come home “hangry” and reach for a bag of chips. If you’ve got rice and veggies prepped in your fridge, then you can easily throw together a meal.

Potatoes are a nutrtional powerhouse, in case you were wondering. Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A and rate lower on the glycemic index. They are also slighty higher in fiber and lower in calories than the white potato.  But, white varieties, including the yukon gold, provide 1/3 of the daily allowance of Vitamin C and they’re also high in potassium, magnesium and iron. All are fat free and should be included in your diet as a whole food.

So, back to the potatoes. I had a few already cooked yukon gold and sweet potatoes in my fridge. I decided to take two yukon gold potatoes and one sweet potato to make this dish. I mashed all of them in a bowl–with the skins on.   I added some seasonings and crudely formed it into sort of a “potato snowball” for lack of a better word.   I seasoned mine with garlic, salt and pepper and dried rosemary. The rosemary makes it smell and taste lke Thanksgiving. I’m sure you could add whatever spices you like. I then placed the “ball” on the heated waffle plate and smashed it down.  I let it do its thing and peeked after about 10 minutes.

Potato Waffle Mash Up

  • Servings: 1-2 waffles
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Ingredients:

  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, cooked and cooled
  • 1 sweet potato, cooked and cooled
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1/4 t. ground black pepper
  • 1-2 t. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder

Directions:

In a medium bowl, mash the potatoes, leaving the skins on.  Ideeally, you want a one a two thirds potato and one third of sweet potato as a ratio.  If you have too much sweet potato, the waffle will burn. Add the seasonings and use a fork or your hands to mix in the seasoning well. Form a ball with the potato and place the ball on the preheated waffle iron plate.  (See tips) Close the plate and allow the waffle to cook. Everyone’s waffle iron cooks differently. Mine took about 8-10 minutes. Avoid “peeking” or the potato will stick to the plates. I did not spray or oil my plates and they did not stick at all.  I have a CuisinartWaffle maker.Enjoy!

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When I opened up the waffle iron, I was treated to a perfectly browned, crispy yet still fluffly potato waffle. Naturally, I served mine with a big side of steamed broccoli. Always need to get those nutrient-rich greens in with every meal.

Tips: If you pre-cooked your potatoes, you may want to microwave them for a minute or two to make them easier to mash. Also, depending on the size of your potatoes, you may be able to get 2 waffles from the recipe. Also, don’t attempt to make this from sweet potatoes alone. You need the yukon gold potato to get the correct consistency.

I encourage you to try these. These could easily be breakfast, lunch or dinner. Tag me @heidicookplants with your photo. I’d love to see your litchen creations!

See you in the kitchen soon,

Heidi

Winner, Winner, It’s (not) Chicken Dinner

Now that Chili season is finally here, it’s time to transform a family favorite into a Plant Based version. This Buffalo “Chik’n” Chili recipe was inspired by a recipe from Rachael Ray that I have made countless times. It is hearty and spicy and so delicious, and I knew there had to be a way to make it just as good with my vegan modifications.

Butler Soy Curls are the perfect chicken substitute for this dish. I started cooking with soy curls this year and they’ve become a great addition to many of my dishes. The only ingredient is Whole Non-GMO Soy Beans. They are 100% natural, gluten free and vegan.  Soy gets a bad rap, but the whole soybean product that is used here is unprocessed. It does not contain soy protein isolate, which is the “bad” type of soy that you hear about. The curls are easy to use and so versatile. I’ve coated them in panko and cooked them in my air fryer as well as sauteed them in barbeque sauce for a “pulled” chik’n type sandwich.

For the Buffalo Chili, it’s important to season the strips very well. I use a combination of  seasonings that gives them a poultry flavor and lots of added spice and “kick” for the buffalo-style.

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Package of Butler Soy Curls
  • 1 T. dried rosemary
  • 2 t. 21 Salute Seasoning
  • 1 t. ground coriander
  • 2 1/4 C. low sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 3 carrots, medium dice
  • 3 ribs celery, medium dice
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 T. smoked paprika
  • 1 15- oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes (I used Fire-roasted) but any variety is ok
  • Hot sauce to taste (I used several dashes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place dried soy curls in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and let sit for about 10-15 minutes until the curls have rehydrated.
  2. Drain the soy curls in a strainer.
  3. Heat about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat.
  4. Add the soy curls to the pot and add the seasonings (rosemary through coriander only)
  5. Stir to blend the all the seasonings and curls and cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf and smoked paprika and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  7. Add the remaining vegetable broth (2 cups), both cans of tomato and the hot sauce and bring to a bubble.
  8. Simmer for a half hour or more (uncovered) until flavors come together.
  9. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

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I love to serve these with my own homemade air fryer tortilla chips because I know those are cooked without oil. If you are short on time, store bought is fine! You can also add some shredded vegan cheese as a topping.

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Spicy, comforting and so delicious. I know you’ll want to make this again and again! Have you cooked with soy curls before? Let me know in the comments and enjoy!

See you in the kitchen soon,

Heidi

 

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Cool Summer Salad

I don’t know about you, but here in Florida it is HOT HOT HOT! Tonight is definitely a no-cook dinner night. And I think there is nothing more refreshing this time of the summer than a watermelon salad. This easy and delicious salad has just a few ingredients, and I’m betting you have most of them already in your house.

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I had a similar version to this Watermelon–Jicama–Cucumber salad on my recent cruise on Celebrity Cruises last month. It was certainly a challenge for me to stay true to my plant based way of eating while we cruised around the Baltic countries, but our waiter, Aldo, did a fantastic job making sure I had healthy choices every night. This salad was one of his favorites, and it quickly became mine as well.

Watermelon, Jicama and Cucumber Salad

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients:

2 cups English cucumber, cut into large dice

2 cups peeled Jicama, cut into large dice

3-4 cups of cubed seedless watermelon

Juice of one lime

3 T chopped fresh basil

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

 

Directions:  Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir together gently. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.  Enjoy!

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The crunch of the cucumber and jicama is so delightful paired with the sweet juiciness of the watermelon. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t find this a delicious addition to the table, especially on a hot summer night. You could even make a whole buffet of salads and make it a true “no cook” night. Why not throw together some spinach, beets and balsamic glaze topped with some toasted walnuts? Sounds good to me!

Give this refreshing salad a try and let me know how much you love it!

See you in the kitchen soon!

Heidi